July 17, 2001
Robert H. Hast
Office of Special Investigations
General Accounting Office
441 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20548
Subject: GAO-01-896R FBI Official's Congressional Testimony Was InaccurateDear Mr. Hast:
As the Director of Intelligence at DOE during the Kindred Spirit Administrative Inquiry, I read with great interest the subject report posted on your website. Regrettably, the report contains some factual errors that, if left uncorrected, perpetuate the web of deceit the FBI has spun to cover up its own mistakes and blunders in the Wen Ho Lee debacle.
The FBI's effort to cover up these blunders shifting blame elsewhere is a disgrace to the history and tradition of the Bureau.
In this light, I cannot allow recent comments by Assistant Director Neil Gallagher in response to your inquiry to pass unchallenged.
Paragraph 10 of the GAO report makes the following statement.
Mr. Gallagher told us [the GAO] that in September 1999 after it became evident to him that there were problems with the Administrative Inquiry, he spoke to the FBI agent assigned to assist Energy in conducting the Administrative Inquiry. He said that the agent told him that he made written changes to a draft of the Administrative Inquiry in 1996 and suggested a more aggressive investigation of the original information. Mr. Gallagher told us that as a result of this conversation he determined that the agent's suggestions were ignored. He also learned that the agent did not see the final version of the Administrative Inquiry because he was no longer involved with the case after his review of the draft. [Emphasis added]Once again, Gallagher is distorting the record and attempting to mislead both the GAO and the Congress. The facts of this matter are these.
The FBI agent that assisted Energy was provided a soft copy of the draft final Administrative Inquiry report through the FBI. The agent complimented the DOE investigator for the fine work done and made suggestions and offered some comments as to revisions to the report. Many of these were incorporated into the final report that was forwarded to the FBI. Thus, Gallagher's assertion that the suggestions were ignored is patently false.
Second, the DOE investigator, who was not interviewed by the GAO, states that the FBI agent's comments were also provided directly to the FBI under separate cover. The agent has confirmed this in court documents made available during the Wen Ho Lee case. So the FBI could have easily compared the agent's suggestions with the final report provided by DOE.
In short, if the agent's comments and suggestions were ignored, it was by the FBI. Gallagher implies that it was DOE that ignored them. That is categorically false. This is at least the second time that I am aware of Gallagher's false and misleading responses to congressional inquiries. He has consistently misrepresented both the content and scope of the DOE Administrative Inquiry. For example, his 1999 testimony led the Senate Governmental Affairs committee to believe that DOE had only visited Los Alamos and had focused on Wen Ho Lee in late 1995. In fact, DOE visited all three weapons lab locations and conducted records searches at two other DOE facilities. DOE and FBI investigators did not make these visits until January 1996 and, at least the DOE investigator had never heard of Dr. Lee until months after Gallagher claimed DOE had already selected Dr. Lee.
I too have had nearly three decades in the national security field and have compiled a distinguished career of accomplishments. Gallagher and the FBI, in efforts to shift the blame for their bungling of the Wen Ho Lee investigation have tried to smear my good name. I would be happy to discuss this information with you or your associates. When I was at DOE, we cooperated fully with the GAO on any number of important studies that helped shape the perceptions of an agency that had lost control over the national laboratories.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. I may be reached at 703.237.XXXX.
Notra Trulock, III